An electrolyte-filled drink, coconut water makes for a great thirst quencher. On hot days, sipping on a cold glass of coconut water is a great idea.
But while you’re at it, your pup might also want a slurp. The question is: Can dogs drink coconut water? Is coconut water safe for dogs?
True, coconut water is naturally refreshing and hydrating, But, as responsible dog owners, you probably know by now that not all “human” food is good and safe for dogs. That’s why it makes sense to be a bit more cautious.
And, you know what? That is a good thing. After all, no loving pet owner will want to put their furry friend and its health at risk.
Now, if you want to know the real deal behind coconut water, you’ve come to the right page. Dog Food Guide just enjoys uncovering the truth behind anything related to dogs, their behavior, and all-things-food related, coconut water included.
Must-Know Coconut Water Facts
Although the hype over coconut water has watered down, it can’t be denied that this ready-to-drink beverage is still something you’d go for on a scorching hot summer day. With a slightly sweet taste and nutty flavor, this clear liquid blends well with popsicles and smoothies.
Nutrition-wise, coconut water is loaded with various vitamins and minerals. This includes:
- Vitamin C
Coconut Water Vs. Coconut Milk
As the fruit matures, the amount of water inside decreases. Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside young, green coconuts (around 6-7 months).
On the other hand, coconut milk is the milky substance you get from the grated white coconut meat or coconut pulp of mature, brown coconuts.
Compared to coconut milk, natural coconut water is water-dense (around 94%) and is rich in minerals, while coconut milk is nutrient-dense but high in fat and fatty acids.
Coconut Water Vs. Store-Bought Sports Drink
Once dubbed “Mother Nature’s sports drink,” many athletes use coconut water as a natural energy booster and thirst quencher. However, it’s not something you’ll opt for after a lengthy, high-intensity workout session.
Just like fresh water and sports drinks, coconut water will keep you hydrated. It is also all-natural, low in calories and sugar, and loaded with potassium. However, unlike most sports drinks, coconut water is low in sodium.
Sodium is an electrolyte that needs to be quickly replaced after a prolonged, rigorous sweat-filled training session. A sports drink like Gatorade might help keep this in check. However, unlike coconut water, some brands contain artificial flavors and added sugar.
This is why others who prefer an all-organic diet would add salt to their glass of coconut water. It wouldn’t taste as good, but it works. On the one hand, if you’re not really into intense workout sessions, plain coconut water is a great alternative.
Can Dogs Drink Coconut Water?
The short answer is Yes. Coconut water is safe for dogs. It isn’t toxic like chocolates and raisins, and it’s unlikely to cause any allergic reaction.
If your dog likes its taste, then adding this to your dog’s diet every once in a while is A-okay. The key here is moderation.
Health Benefits Of Coconut Water For Your Dog
Now that you know that coconut water is a drink your dog can have now and then, let’s go ahead and discuss all the delightful health benefits coconut water has in store for your dog:
It’s Refreshingly Hydrating
Electrolytes are essential minerals your dogs’ bodies need, and coconut water is packed full of them. So, on a scorching hot day, you might want to give your dog a few ounces of coconut water or some coconut water ice cubes.
Yes, the ice cube will definitely cool them down. But, apart from that, this is loaded with natural electrolytes (sodium, manganese, and potassium included), which can help keep your dog hydrated after a long, hot walk when the heat is just unbearable.
A Great Energy Booster
Apart from quenching your dog’s thirst, giving your dog just a small amount may also help keep your dog on its paws. Just like coffee, coconut water also serves as an excellent caffeine-free pick-me-up on days when your dog is feeling sluggish or a bit under the weather.
May Fight Off Diseases
If your dog’s immune system needs some boost, giving your dog small quantities of coconut water might help. A few animal studies showed coconut water’s antioxidant properties and ability to reduce oxidative stress – a common cause of cell damage and diseases.
Can Help Prevent Kidney Stones
While more studies are needed, a few small ones suggest that coconut water is better than plain water in kidney stone prevention.
May Improve Skin & Coat
Coconut water (like coconut oil) may also help make your dog’s skin healthier and their coat shinier. Besides containing tons of electrolytes, coconut water also contains nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B3, and B12 that help increase collagen production and hydrate skin.
Note that skin hot spots and hives can be caused by a flea or an underlying condition. As such, getting your dog checked by a licensed veterinarian is still recommended.
Can Reduce Inflammation
Although not yet scientifically proven, one study mentioned its ability to minimize inflammation. As such, some believe that this can help reduce arthritis and joint pain.
Potential Risks Of Giving Your Dog Coconut Water
This drink may be packed with electrolytes that will keep your dog hydrated and nutrients like vitamin C and B that are overall beneficial to your dog. But just like any other food (or drink), there are a couple of health concerns you must keep in mind:
While each part of a coconut – from the water to the coconut meat and shell – offers tons of benefits, giving your dog the whole coconut is a bad idea.
The husk or coconut shell might be too hard for your fur baby. If chunks of it are swallowed whole, this can also obstruct your dog’s airways.
If your dog’s stomach is a bit sensitive, letting them drink something sweet like coconut water may cause GI issues like an upset stomach, loose stools, or diarrhea. Drinking too much coconut water can also have a laxative effect since it is rich in potassium.
Although low in calories, like any type of food or drink, having too much of this healthy treat can also lead to weight gain. After all, coconut water still contains calories – around 45-60 calories for every 8 ounces.
Tips On How To Add Coconut Water To Your Dog’s Diet
Your dog may indeed enjoy coconut water, given its somewhat sweet and nutty flavor. But since giving your dog coconut water comes with risks, make sure to keep these tips in mind:
Pure coconut water is the way to go. Make sure to buy coconut water that is free from any additives. There’s no need to buy “dog-friendly” coconut water in your local pet stores since ordinary coconut water is guaranteed safe for dogs.
Introduce gradually. If you’re introducing this healthy treat for the first time, it’s always best to start small. This way, you can check if your dog’s tummy can tolerate it or not.
Give it as an occasional drink. Too much of a good thing can be bad. The same applies to coconut water. So, make sure to only give small amounts per day (think a few ounces). Just like any dog treats, this should not exceed 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
Leave the husks behind and serve them in his water bowl. While drinking this delicious drink directly from the shell using a straw works for us, the same wouldn’t work for your dog. So, make sure to take the time to pour this over in his water bowl.
Serve it frozen or mixed with other treats. As mentioned, coconut water ice cubes can be given to your dog when the weather is sweltering hot.
Just combine coconut water with a bit of tap water and then freeze it. You can even add a few more dog-friendly fruits and veggies like blueberry, apples, or cucumber to make it extra special.
Alternatively, when making dog treats, you can also replace water with coconut water for added nutrition.
Other Dog-Friendly Coconut Products
If you want to know if it’s okay to give your dog coconut milk and coconut oil, the answer is also yes. Same as coconut water, coconut milk and coconut oil are also acceptable as long as it’s only given as an occasional treat. Since both contain fat, consuming too much fat can lead to diarrhea, weight gain, and even pancreatitis.
So, yes. You can give your dog coconut water occasionally and in small amounts. While coconut water is hearty, it should never be a complete substitute for pure water.
Just like humans, we can’t live on drinking just coconut water alone. We still need water to survive. It’s the same for dogs.
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